Academic Freedom in Britain sign now

We the undersigned members of the international academic community call upon the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology to abandon its inquiry into Professor Mona Bakers decision to sever links between her journals and Israeli universities.

Mona Bakers decision was taken in pursuance of an academic boycott of Israel. The claim that this infringed the academic freedom of the two Israeli academics she removed from the boards of her journals is entirely spurious: they remain as free as ever to say what they wish, and are, unlike Mona Baker, in no danger of dismissal. The claim that her decision was racially motivated is also entirely spurious and unwarranted: it depends on dishonestly equating criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism.

The inquiry UMIST is conducting is a disciplinary procedure in all but name, except that Professor Baker has none of the protections of a defendant, such as the right to examine witnesses against her, to see their evidence, or even to know their identity. The Sunday Telegraph (UK) of November 17 quotes a UMIST official as saying that it will be decided by Christmas whether she will be dismissed, and UMISTs website carries an official statement condemning her in advance.

We regard this inquiry as a grave assault on academic freedom and the right to legitimate political activity and call upon UMIST to abandon it before the reputation of the university is further damaged.

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Shauna SloanBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Professor John Garside, Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology (UK)

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